Nutrition Q&A – Intermittent Fasting

“Since you mentioned intermittent fasting, can you provide your thoughts on when and for whom this could be a good approach to healthy eating frequency. Specifically, what are the benefits of this approach compared to a Paleo lifestyle with 3 meals plus snacks? And could this be a quality option for someone looking to get stronger/leaner/healthier but not necessarily aspiring to the highest competitive levels? Thanks!”

I’ve done a good amount of intermittent fasting with mixed results. Based solely on my personal experience I think it ultimately hinges on the stress factor, and the type of training you are focusing on.  When I am getting good sleep, my work schedule is consistent, and I’m focusing on a structured strength training program I’ve seen very good results with IF. In 2010 prepping for The Arnolds Weightlifting meet I used IF and was able to get down to 115 kilos which is about 4 kilos off my leanest weigh in of all time.

On the flip side If I’m teaching early AM class, staying late to prep the team for regionals, traveling, and doing allot of high intensity conditioning IF tends to be one more hot coal in my stress fire and takes aways more than it adds. Everything seems to suffer in this situation.

So my ideal person to implement IF would be a person that has low lifestyle stress (or manages stress well), has good sleep habits, and primarily focuses on structured strength and weightlifting for their training.  If you look into the work Martin Berkhan has done you’ll see that the success folks have on his programs tend to fit this avatar.

Hope that Helps!

Coach Wes